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Author of ' An Appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans,' the 'Evils 
of Slavery, and the Cure of Slavery, 1 'Authentic Anecdotes of American Slavery, 1 'History 
of the Condition of Women, 1 'The Oasis, 1 'Frugal Housewife, 1 fyc. 

"On the nation's naked heart 
Scatter the living coals of Truth." 

S e c o u tr 3B tr i t f o it . 






Author of *An Appeal in favor of that class of Americans called Africans, 1 the 
* Evils of Slavery, and the Cure of Slavery,' 3 l Authentic Anecdotes of American Sla- 
very, 1 l History of the Condition of Women, 1 l Tke Oasis, 1 * Frugal Housewife, 1 fyc. 

u On the nation's naked heart 
Scatter the living coals of Truth." 

^econXr Sir f tf on* 


183 9. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835 s 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 


Question. Why do you consider it a duty to preach and 
publish abolition doctrines? 

Answer. First, I consider it my duty as a Christian; for 
the system of slavery, as a whole, and in each one of its 
details, is in direct opposition to the precepts of the gos- 
pel. Secondly, I consider it my duty as a conscientious 
citizen of this republic; for I believe slavery is pre- 
judicial to the best interests of my country; and I dare 
not hope that God's blessing will rest upon us, if we 
persevere in our iniquity. 

Q. But the abolitionists are accused of showing the 
worst side of slavery. Is it not true that they seek to 
give an exaggerated idea of its evils? 

A. I believe every man, who candidly examines the 
subject, will come to the conclusion, that every side 
appears to be the worst side. Allow me to give a brief 
statement of the case. Between two and three millions 
of people are compelled to labor without wages. They 
gain nothing more by working ten hours than they would 
by working one hour. It is not in human nature that 
they should be disposed to be industrious under these 
circumstances. They try to do as little as possible. The 
chief part of the labor that is got out of their bones and 
sinews is obtained by fear of the whip. A peck of corn 
a week is the usual allowance for the food of a slave. 
The planters generally estimate that a slave can be fed 
and clothed at an expense of from fifteen to twenty dollars 
a year. The following is the printed testimony of Thomas 
Clay, of Georgia, himself a slave-holder, though reputed 
to be an amiable, conscientious man: "A peck of corn 
per week, if it be sound flint corn, is sufficient to sustain 
health and strength under moderate labor. But there is 
ojten a defect in the quality, and the quantity is then in- 
sufficient. The present economy of the slave system is 
to get all you can from the slave, and give in return as 
little as will barely support him in a working condition. 
Even where there is not direct intention to abridge his 
comforts, they are but little consulted; and the slave, 

seeing his master wholly engrossed by his own advantage, 
naturally adopts the. same selfish course, and, when not 
restrained by higher principles, becomes deceitful and 

Q. If Mr. Thomas Clay is a good man, and really 
thinks slavery so bad in its effects, why does he not 
emancipate his own slaves? 

A. If you were to ask him, I suppose he would give an 
answer very common among planters. He would tell 
you that he could not do it because the laws of the State 
in which he lives impose such heavy penalties, that the 
process of emancipation is extremely difficult and 

Q. Who makes the laws of the Southern States? 

Jl. The slave-holders themselves. When I hear a man 
say that he would gladly emancipate his slaves, if the 
laws would allow it, it makes me think of an anecdote I 
have often heard. A little girl had been ordered to 
perform some household work in the absence of her 
mother. When the parent returned, and saw that her 
orders had not been obeyed, she said, "My child, why 
have you not done as I bid you ?" The little girl replied, 
"I should have been glad to do it, mother; but I could 
not. Don't you see I am tied?" "And pray who tied 
you?" inquired the mother. "I tied myself," was the 
reply. Now this is plainly the case with the slave- 
holders. They make oppressive laws, and persist in 
upholding those laws, and then say, "I would do my 
duty, if I could; but the laivs will not permit it." 

Q. Do the slaves have to w,ork all the time? 

Jl. In some States the laws ordain that slaves shall 
not be compelled to work more than fourteen hours a day, 
from September to March; nor more than fifteen hours a 
day, from March to September; and it is reasonable to 
conclude that there would have been no necessity for 
making such a law, unless some masters did compel 
their slaves to toil beyond the specified hours. Convicts, 
who are imprisoned for crime, are not obliged to work 
more than ten hours a day, and are better fed than the 
slaves. It is an extraordinary thing for a slave to be 
sent to the state prison for an offence. Instead of pun- 
ishment, it would in fact be amelioration of his lot. 

Q. But I have been told that the slaves sometimes work 
for themselves. 

A. When they happen to have kind masters, they are 
sometimes allowed a part of the time to earn something 
for themselves; but the laws are extremely inefficient 
for the protection of property thus acquired. If a white 
man sees fit to seize the products of their industry, the 
law in most cases affords no redress; because in slave 
States a colored man is never allowed to give evidence 
against a white man, under any circumstances. Any 
note of hand, or written contract with a slave is worth 
no more than a promissory note to a dog; because no 
slave can bring an action at law. In several of the 
States, a slave is liable to punishment if it is ascertained 
that he has acquired any property. 

Q. I have been told that masters are allowed to kill 
their slaves. Can this be true? 

Jt. The laws do indeed nominally consider the killing 
of a slave as murder; but no instance has ever been 
recorded of a white man executed for killing a slave. 
One law on this subject has the following strange qualifi- 
cation: "Except said slave die of moderate punishment." 
As if any punishment, that occasioned death, could be 
moderate! If a hundred blacks or mulattoes, either 
bond or free, should see a slave murdered, it avails 
nothing against the murderer; because the laws of slave 
States do not allow a colored person, under any circum- 
stances, to testify against a white man. The laws of 
South Carolina favor the master to such a degree, 
that when accused of murdering a slave, he may be 
absolved simply upon his oivn oath, that he did not com- 
mit the crime! 

Q, But I am told that white men are not unfrequently 
prosecuted for cruelty to slaves; and this looks as if the 
laws afforded the poor creatures some protection. 

A. I have read not a few Reports of Cases in South- 
ern Courts; and those reports did more than any thing 
else to make me an abolitionist. Prosecutions are 
always brought for the master's interest — never for the 
protection or redress of the slave. In Martin's Louisiana 
Reports, 18 18, you will find the case of Jourdan vs. Patten. 
In this case a lady sued a neighboring proprietor for the 
damage of putting out the only eye of one of her slaves. 
The Supreme Court decided that the defendant should 
pay the lady the sum of twelve hundred dollars; in con- 
sideration of which, the slave should be placed in his 

possession. The lady received all the money, as an 
indemnification for the loss of property; but the poor 
slave not only received no atonement for his sufferings, 
but was actually given to the very man that had knocked 
his eye out! This is a fair sample of the nature of all 
such prosecutions. In Nott ■& McCord's South Carolina 
Reports, 1818, it is stated that a slave belonging to Mrs. 
E. Witsell, was shot through the head by two men who 
were hunting runaway negroes. The lady commenced 
an action to recover the value of her slave. The judge 
told the jury that circumstances might exist to authorize 
the killing of a negro, ivithout the sanction of a magistrate, 
or even the order of a militia officer; but it was thought such 
circumstances were not connected with this case; the 
lady was therefore entitled to compensation for injury 
done to her property. As for the poor slave himself, his 
parents, his wife, or his children, they were never once 
thought of in the matter. 

Q. But do you really believe they hunt negroes with 
dogs and guns, as some people say? 

A. There cannot be the slightest doubt of the fact. 
Dogs are trained for that express purpose. The planters 
justify the practice, by saying it is absolutely necessary 
for their own safety; because runaway negroes, who col- 
lect in the woods and swamps, will soon begin to commit 
depredations on the neighboring estates. Thus the 
evils inevitably growing out of this bad system are 
made use of to justify its cruelties. Free laborers would 
have no inducement to run away and hide in swamps. 
It would obviously be for their own interest to keep at 
work. These negro hunts seem to be entered into with 
all the keen excitement of sportsmen going out to hunt 
squirrels or hares. A letter written near Edenton, N.C. 
among other items of news, states: " We have had 
great negro shooting lately." A gentleman well known 
in the literary world resided for some time in the family 
of a Georgia planter; and he himself stated to me that 
three negro hunts took place during the first nine months 
of his stay there. He said, that one night hearing a 
noise below stairs, he hastened to ascertain the cause. 
" The gentlemen of the family were cleaning and load- 
ing their guns, trying their flints, and going through the 
usual preparations, apparently for a deer hunt, as buck 
shot and bullets were in demand. The children of the 

family had partaken of the general excitement, and aris- 
en from their beds. As I entered the room, I could 
hear one of the youngest say, f Why, pa, you wouldn't 
kill Ralph, would you? 5 * I would take him, and sell 
him, and get money for him, 5 said the next of age. ' You 
will only lame him, so as to seize him, I suppose,' said 
the mother. ' I would rather kill him than the best fat 
buck in the country,' replied the father, as he rammed 
down the heavy charge. The moonlight from the win- 
dow glanced along the barrel of the piece, and caught 
the eye of the eldest boy. The reflected light kindled 
up his glance with something of an unnatural flash, but 
in vivid sympathy with the paternal look and attitude. 
The anticipated joy of vengeance seemed to be the pre- 
dominating emotion." 

Q. If the laws are as you say, I should think the 
slaves did not stand a fair chance when they are wrong- 
fully accused. 

A.- If you will examine Stroud's Compendium of the 
Slave Laws, you will be convinced for yourself that 
what I say is true; and the effect is as you suppose. 
The poor slaves are completely in the power of their 
masters. The same men who accuse them are often 
their judges and executioners. In illustration of this, I 
will tell you a case that occurred in Edenton, North Car- 
olina. It was told by a woman who lived there at the 
time, and witnessed some of the executions. Many of 
the slaves in that place were skilful in mechanical 
trades. The planters in the back country were very de- 
sirous to purchase some of them; but their masters found 
it so profitable to let them out, that they would not con- 
sent to sell them. Those who were anxious to buy, hit 
upon the following expedient to obtain their purpose: 
They wrote anonymous letters, charging these intelli- 
gent slaves with having projected an insurrection. 
These letters were scattered about in Edenton, with the 
idea that the masters would be glad to sell such danger- 
ous fellows; but instead of this, the poor innocent slaves 
were tried, convicted, and sentenced by their frightened 
owners; and a large number of them were put to death, 
upon no other evidence than anonymous letters. 

Q. It does not seem as if such things could take place 
in a civilized country. Can you believe it? 

Jl. If you reflect a little upon human nature, I believe 


you will think it perfectly natural that such abuses should 
exist, wherever one human being has arbitrary power 
over another. You would not like to place yourself 
completely in the power even of the best man you know; 
you would be afraid to have it depend entirely on his 
will how much work you should do in a day, what food 
you should eat, and what clothes you should wear, and 
how and when you should be punished. It is not con- 
sidered entirely safe for an aged parent to relinquish all 
his property, and trust entirely to the generosity of his 
own children; what then do you suppose the poor slave 
has to expect, when he becomes too old and infirm to be 
profitable to his master? 

Q. But the Southerners are said to be very honorable, 
generous men. 

A. Our Southern brethren are just what any human 
beings would be under similar circumstances. They 
are generous with the proceeds of other men's labor, for 
the same reason that the heir is prodigal ofmoney, which 
another accumulates for him. He who can let out his 
neighbor, and his neighbor's wife and children, and re- 
ceive all their wages, will naturally be more profuse 
than a man who depends entirely on his own exertions. 
Planters have heretofore generally confessed that sla- 
very is an evil, and many of them speak of its detailed 
abuses with strong regret; but these abuses are merely 
the necessary and inevitable results of the system they 
are helping to support; and they never can cure the 
abuses until they are willing to renounce the system it- 
self. I suppose that few planters would think of palli- 
ating the treatment Mrs. Salarie's slaves received; yet 
they are all helping to support a system under which 
such cruelties can be committed with impunity. Per- 
haps very humane and amiable masters do even more 
mischief than the desperately wicked; for they are al- 
ways quoted as palliations of the whole system; and 
they approach so near to the right line, that they can 
more easily draw over kind-hearted people, who have 
not thought much upon the subject. 

Q. What is the history of Mrs. Salarie? 

*$. She resided in New Orleans. On the 10th of April, 
1834, her splendid mansion took fire. During the midst 
of the conflagration, a rumor arose among the crowd that 
there were slaves chained in the burning dwelling; but 


those who asked for the keys were reproved for inter- 
fering with their neighbor's business. At last the doors 
were forced open by. sailors and mechanics, that had 
collected around the spot; and a New Orleans paper 
thus describes the horrible scene that presented itself: 
1 1 Seven slaves more or less horribly mutilated, were 
seen, some chained to the floor, and some suspended by 
the neck to the ceiling, with their limbs stretched and 
torn from one extremity to the other. Their bodies, from 
head to foot, were covered with scars and sores, and 
filled with wounds. One poor old man, upwards of sixty 
years of age, was chained hand and foot, and made fast 
to the floor, in a kneeling position. His head bore the 
appearance of having been beaten until it was broken, 
and the worms were actually seen making a feast of his 

Q. Every body must have thought her a very wicked 
woman. Did the slave-holders in the neighborhood pre- 
tend to justify her measures? 

•A. I have no doubt that every humane person, that 
heard of the event, expressed horror, and sincerely felt 
it. For several months previous to the discovery, her 
neighbors had been in the habit of living in apartments 
as far as possible from her house, on purpose to avoid 
the shrieks and groans of her poor suffering slaves; yet 
during all that time no complaint was laid before the 
public authorities, and no investigation demanded! I 
suppose neighbors were afraid to say anything, lest they 
should be accused of promoting discontent among the 
negroes. Those who endeavor to keep human beings 
in the situation of beasts, are more afraid of them than 
they would be of beasts; because the human being has 
reason, which is always prone to offer resistance to ty- 
ranny. The consciousness of this makes slave-holders 
very irritable when any one in the community takes part 
with an abused slave, or expresses the slightest pity for 
his sufferings. 

Q. Is it not for the master's interest to treat the slaves 

Jl. So it is for the interest of men to treat their horses 
and cattle well; and yet their passions not unfrequently 
make them forget their interests. Passive obedience is 
obtained from human beings with more difficulty than 
from animals; and when the master is provoked, the 


poor slave is completely in his power, with scarcely the 
shadow of protection from the law. The law in no case 
recognises slaves as human beings; on the contrary, it 
expressly declares they " shall be deemed, sold, taken, 
and reputed to be chattels personal, in the hands of their 
owners and possessors, their administrators and assigns, 
to all intents, constructions, and purposes ichatever." 
An act of Maryland, for the settlement of estates, enu- 
merates specific articles, such as i( slaves, working 
beasts, animals," Sic. Where even the laws consider hu- 
man beings as animals, it is not a matter of surprise that 
they are generally treated no better than self-interest 
leads men to treat animals. You will likewise perceive 
that when the slave becomes old, or diseased, or in any 
way unfit for labor, it is not for the interest of his master to 
prolong his existence by rendering it comfortable. Then 
again that part of the system connected with overseers, 
shows plainly that the self-interest of the master cannot 
effectually secure good treatment to the slave. If plant- 
ers were to give overseers a stated salary, without re- 
gard to the amount of produce, the overseers (who are 
proverbially unprincipled men) would have no motive 
for consulting the interest of their employers — it would 
be a matter of indifference to them whether much or lit- 
tle work were done. To obviate this difficulty, it is cus- 
tomary to give the overseer a certain proportion of the 
profits of the plantation. Of course, it becomes his rul- 
ing desire to get the greatest possible amount of work 
done. He does not care how much the soil is exhaust- 
ed, nor how much the negroes are broken down. If a 
slave says he is very ill, the overseer is unwilling to be- 
lieve the story, because he is reluctant to lose a day's 
labor. If the poor creature droops under his allotted 
task, he must be stimulated by the whip, because the 
overseer cannot spare an hour of his exertions. If the 
"slave dies under moderate punishment," the master 
must furnish a new laborer; and the loss falls on him, 
not on the overseer. It is obviously natural for the lat- 
ter personage to think more of his own gains than of his 
employer's losses. Every body knows that men are 
prone to drive hired horses with less mercy than their 
own; because they do not meet with any personal loss 
from injury done to the beast, and their object is to get 
their money's worth of riding. Is it not a fearful thing 


for one human being to be placed towards another in the 
same relation that a stable-horse is toward the man who 
hires him? When planters are reminded of instances of 
cruelty, too well authenticated to be denied, they are 
prone to lay the blame upon overseers. Mr. Wirt, of 
Virginia, speaks of this class of men as "the lowest of 
the human race — always cap in hand to the dons who 
employ them, and furnishing materials for their pride, 
insolence, and love of dominion." If we had no such 
information concerning the character of these men, we 
should naturally conclude that good people would be 
averse to enter into such an employment. Yet overseers 
and drivers are a necessary part of this bad system, be- 
cause slaves are entirely deprived of the motives which 
induce free laborers to work; and since overseers must 
be employed, it is necessary to make it for their interest 
to get as much work out of the slave as possible. The 
evils of slavery are necessary and inevitable parts of the 
system; and whether the planters reprobate them or not, 
they cannot possibly avoid them, except by relinquish- 
ing the system. The master and his subordinate agents 
must have discretionary power to punish, because their 
poor human brutes, being deprived of salutary motives 
to exertion, must be driven to it. The slave must not be 
allowed to buy or sell, or make the most trifling con- 
tracts; because the oppressed being would naturally 
avail himself of this privilege, and sell some of the cot- 
ton or tobacco, which he cultivates for his master with- 
out wages. The laws must punish them with great se- 
verity; because the very nature of their condition is a 
constant temptation to theft, falsehood, and murder. 
They must be kept brutally ignorant; because if they 
were otherwise, they could not be kept in slavery. 
Licentiousness must be countenanced among them; be- 
cause their master's interest is connected with their in- 
crease, and he might lose many good bargains if the laws 
did not allow him to sell a wife from her husband, or a hus- 
band from his wife. The law must suppose a negro to be 
a slave, till he proves himself free; because runaway 
slaves would of course pretend that they were free. 
They must not be allowed to witness against a white 
man; for a slave may have had a wife or a child whipped 
to death by a white man — and he may have many other 
good reasons for strong prejudice against white men. 


An unnatural system musl be sustained by unnatural 
means. Hence we find the same characteristic fea- 
tures in every country where negro slavery has been 
allowed. • • • 

Q. Some people think slavery as great a sin as the 
slave trade. Are you of that opinion? 

A, There seems to me just the same difference as 
there is between the thief and the man who pays him for 
stealing. What would you say of a man who buys a 
horse, knowing it to be stolen? The following circum- 
stance, which took place a short time before our Revo- 
lution, furnishes a good commentary on this matter. A 
Philadelphia negro was accused of having stolen goods 
in his possession. He acknowledged the fact, saying, 
sc Massa Justice, me know me got dem tings from Tom 
dere, and me tink Tom teal dem too; but what den, 
Massa? dey be only a piccaninny knife, and a piccaninny 
corkscrew; one cost sixpence, and tudder a shilling; an 
me pay Tom honestly for dem, Massa." " Pretty story, 
truly!" said his worship; " you knew they were stolen, 
and yet allege for excuse, you honestly paid for them. 
Don't you know, Pompey, that the receiver is as bad as 
the thief ? You must be severely whipped, you black 
rascal." " Very well, Massa, if de black rascal be whipt 
for buying tolen goods, me hope de white rascal be 
whipt too, for same ting, when you catch him." "To 
be sure," replied the Justice. " Well den," says Pom- 
pey, "here be Tom's Massa — hold him fast, constable! 
He buy Tom, as I buy de piccaninny knife, and de pic- 
caninny corkscrew. He know very well Tom be tolen 
from his old fadder and mudder; de knife and de cork- 
screw had neder." 

I do not see how we can escape from the conclusion 
that the slave-owner is an accomplice of the slave-trader. 
So long as a profitable market is kept open, the article 
will be supplied, despite of difficulties and dangers. 
The only way to stop the trade, is to shut up the market; 
and this can be done only by the entire abolition of the 
system of slavery. When nobody will buy a man, no- 
body will be tempted to steal a man. Slavery never 
exists without having more 'or less of the slave-trade 
involved in it. There is in the very heart of our land a 
slave-trade constantly carried on, and sanctioned by our 
laws, which is as disgraceful and cruel as the foreign 


slave trade. The new slave States at the extreme South 
have not slaves enough, and the climate, together with 
the hard labor of the sugar plantations, kills them very 
fast. The old slave States have a surplus of slaves, 
which they send off to supply these markets. About 
ten thousand are annually exported from Virginia alone. 
Niles, in his Register, vol. 35, page 4, says: " Dealing 
in slaves has become a large business. Establishments 
are made at several places in Maryland and Virginia, at 
which they are sold like cattle. These places are strong- 
ly built, and well supplied with thumb screivs, gags, cow- 
skins, and other whips, often bloody." In these sales no 
regard is paid to domestic ties. The newly married 
wife is torn shrieking from her husband, and the mother 
with her little ones are sold in " separate lots to suit pur- 
chasers." A gentleman in Charleston, S. C, writes to 
his friend in New York : ''Curiosity sometimes leads me 
to the auction sales of the negroes. There I saw the 
father looking with sullen contempt on the crowd, and 
expressing an indignation in his countenance that he 
dares not speak; and the mother pressing her infants 
closer to her bosom, exclaiming, in wild and simple ear- 
nestness, " I can't lefFmy children! I won't leffmy chil- 
dren!" But the hammer went on, reckless whether it 
united or sundered for ever. On another stand I saw a 
man apparently as white as myself exposed for sale." 

Q. I have heard some people say that the negroes do 
not care so much about such separations as we should 

A. There is no doubt that their degraded situation 
tends to blunt the feelings, as well as to stultify the in- 
tellect; and it is a fearful thing to think what Christians 
have to answer for, who thus brutalize immortal souls. 
But there are numerous instances to prove that the 
poor creatures do often suffer the most agonizing sensa- 
tions when torn from those they love. Near Palmyra, 
in Marion county, Missouri, two boys were sold to a 
slave-trader, who did not intend to leave the place until 
morning. During the night, the mother was kept chain- 
ed in an out-house, that she might not make any effort 
to prevent the departure of her children. She managed 
to get loose from her fetters, seized an axe, cut off the 
the heads of her sleeping boys, and then ended her own 
life by the same instrument. 


The Missouri Intelligencer, a few months ago, gave 
an account of a slave named Michael, who was sold by 
his master to Mr. J. E. Fenton, by whom he was to be 
immediately shipped for the Southern markets. At the 
mouth of the Ohio, he filed off his irons, and contrived 
to escape. He immediately returned to the place where 
his wife resided, and having armed himself, declared he 
never would be sent to the South, unless his wife was al- 
lowed to accompany him. He was finally taken by 
stratagem, and lodged in jail for safe keeping. Finding 
that his oppressors were determined to separate him 
from his beloved wife, he committed suicide. I believe 
the attachments of slaves are even stronger than ours; 
for these ties constitute the only pleasure they are al- 
lowed to have. Hundreds of instances might be told, 
where they have preferred death to separation. 

Q. 1 have been told they sometimes kidnapped free 
colored persons, to sell them as slaves. Is it so? 

A, It is unquestionably true that this is carried on to 
a considerable extent. More than twenty free colored 
children were kidnapped in the single city of Philadel- 
phia, in 1825; and in 1827 two were stolen in open 
day. It is a common thing to decoy the unsuspecting vic- 
tims on board a vessel, or to some retired spot, and then 
seize and bind them. A New York paper of 1829, says: 
"Beware of kidnappers! It is well understood that there 
is at present in this city, a gang of kidnappers, busily 
engaged in their vocation of stealing colored children 
for the Southern market." As the law supposes every 
colored person to be a slave unless he can prove himself 
free, and as no person of his own complexion is allowed 
to be eyidence for him, the kidnappers have an easy 
time of it. 

Q. Some people say we ought to pity the masters as 
well as the slaves. 

A. I agree with them entirely. The masters are to 
be deeply pitied; because the long continuance of a 
wicked system has involved them in difficulties, and at 
the same time rendered them generally blind to the best 
means of getting rid of those difficulties. They are like- 
wise to be compassionated for the effects which early 
habits of power produce on their own characters. Mr 
Jefferson, who lived in the midst of slavery, says: " The 
whole commerce between master and slave is a perpet- 


ual exercise of the most boisterous passions; the most 
unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading 
submission on the other. Our children see this, and 
learn to imitate it. The parent storms; the child looks 
on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same 
airs in a circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to the worst 
of passions; and thus nursed, educated, and daily 
exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with 
odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy, who 
can retain his morals and manners undepraved in such 
circumstances." The general licentiousness produced 
by this system can never be described without using lan- 
guage too gross to be addressed to a civilized com- 
munity. Some idea of it may be derived from the fact, 
that every female slave is completely in the power of her 
master, of his sons, of his overseers, and his drivers. 
The law does not allow her to offer resistance to a white 
man, under any circumstances; and the state of public 
opinion is such that any pretensions to virtue on her part 
would be treated with brutal ridicule. The slave is not 
allowed to have any right in his wife and children, if 
his master's interest can be served by his keeping three 
or four wives, or by his wife's having a succession of 
husbands, he cannot dispute the commands of his owner. 
Ths wife, or the husband, is sometimes sold, and sent 
thousands of miles from each other, and from their little 
ones, without the slightest hope of ever meeting again. 
Under these circumstances, the man, or the woman, is 
soon ordered to take another partner; because it is for 
the interest of the master that they should do so. It is a 
shameful fact that the laws and customs of our country 
make it absolutely impossible for a large portion of our 
population to be virtuous, even if they wish to be so. 
The wealth of Virginia is principally made by the breed- 
ing of slaves and horses; and persons unaccustomed to 
the system would be shocked by the detail of well au- 
thenticated facts, which prove that about as little regard 
is paid to decency in one case as the other. Mulatto 
slaves bring a higher price than black ones; hence li- 
centiousness in slave States becomes a profitable vice, 
instead of being expensive, as it is under other forms of 

Q. I have been told that a great many of the slaves 
have very light complexions. Is it so? 


A. In the old slave States, where the process of ama- 
gamation has been going on for a long time, this is re- 
markably the case. An old soldier, who lately visited 
the South, said he was not so much struck by any cir- 
cumstance, as by the great change that had taken place 
in the complexion of the slaves since the Revolution. 
Now and then I have seen in the southern papers ad- 
vertisements for a runaway slave, "who passes himself 
for a white man." A Boston gentleman, who dislikes 
the abolitionists very much, visited Georgia a few years 
ago. He told me that when he was walking with a plant- 
er one day, they met a man driving a team, who had a 
perfectly fair complexion, with blue eyes and brown hair. 
The Bostonian remarked, "That must be an indepen- 
dent fellow, to be driving a team in this part of the coun- 
try, where it is considered so disgraceful for a white 
man to work." " O, that fellow is a slave," replied 
the Georgian. Almost every body has heard of the re- 
cent case of Mary Gilmore, of Philadelphia, a perfectly 
white girl, of Irish parentage, who was taken up and 
tried as a runaway slave. A Missouri newspaperproves 
that a white man may, without a mistake, be adjudged a 
slave. " A case of a slave sueing for his freedom, was 
tried a few days since in Lincoln county, of which the 
following is a brief statement of particulars: A youth of 
about ten years of age sued for his freedom on the 
ground that he was a free white person. The court 
granted his petition to sue as a pauper upon inspection 
of his person. Upon his trial before the jury, he was ex- 
amined by the jury and two learned physicians, all of 
whom concurred in the opinion that very little, if any, 
race of negro blood could be discovered by any of the 
external appearances. All the physiological marks of 
distinction, which characterize the African descent, had 
disappeared. His skin was fair, his hair soft, straight, 
fine and white, his eyes blue, but rather disposed to the 
hazel-nut color; nose prominent, the lips small, his head 
round and well formed, forehead high and prominent, 
ears large, the tibia of the leg straight, and feet hollow. 
Notwithstanding these evidences of his claims, he was 
proved to be the descendant of a mulatto woman, and 
that his progenitors on the mother's side had been and 
still were slaves: consequently he was found to be a 
slave." I have been told of a young physician, who went 


Into the far Southern Slates to settle, and there became 
in love with a very handsome and modest girl, who lived 
at service. He married her; and about a year after that 
event, a gentleman called at the house, and announced 
himself as Mr J*******y 9 of Mobile. He said to Dr. 
W ##### , " Sir, I have a trifling affair of business to set- 
tle with you. You have married a slave of mine." The 
young physician resented this language; for he had not 
entertained the slightest suspicion that the girl had any 
other than white ancestors since the flood. But Mr J. 
furnished proofs of his claim, and Dr W.knew very well 
that the laws of the country would uphold him in it. Af- 
ter considerable discussion, the best bargain he could 
make was either to pay eight hundred dollars, or have 
his wife put up at auction. He consented to the first 
alternative, and his unwelcome visiter departed. When 
he had gone, Dr. W. told his wife what had happened. 
The poor woman burst into tears and said, "That as 
Mr. J. ivas her oivn father, she had hoped that when he 
heard she had found an honorable protector, he would 
have left her in peace." 

Q. There can be no doubt that slavery is a bad sys- 
tem; but don't you think it ought to be done away grad- 
ually? Ought not the slaves to be fitted for freedom, be- 
fore they are emancipated? 

A. The difficulty is, it is utterly impossible to fit them 
for freedom while they remain slaves. The masters 
know very well that their vassals will be servile just in 
proportion as the}' are brutally ignorant; hence all their 
legislation tends to keep them so. It is a disgraceful 
fact, that in half of these United States the working 
men are expressly forbidden to learn to read or write. 
The law ordains that twenty lashes shall be inflicted 
upon every slave found in an assembly met together for 
the purpose of " mental instruction." Any white per- 
son who teaches a slave to read or write, or gives or 
sells him any book (the Bible not excepted), is fined two 
hundred dollars; and any colored person who commits 
the same crime, is punished with thirty-nine lashes, or 
with imprisonment. The Rev. Charles C. Jones, of 
Georgia, said in one of his sermons: "Generally 
speaking, the slaves appear to us to be without God and 
without hope in the world — a nation of heathen in our very 
midst. We cannot cry out against the Papists for with- 


holding the Scriptures from the common people; for we 
withhold the Bible from our servants, and keep them in 
ignorance of it." A writer in the Observer, of Charles- 
ton, S. C. says: (i I hazard the assertion, that through- 
out the bounds of our synod, there are at least one hun- 
dred thousand slaves, speaking the same language as 
ourselves, who never heard of the plan of salvation by a 
Redeemer." The reason assigned for these oppressive 
laws is, that " teaching slaves to read and write tends 
to excite dissatisfaction in their minds," and to produce 
insurrection. In Georgia, a white man is fined five hun- 
dred dollars for teaching a slave or free negro to read or 
write; and if a colored man attempts to teach the alpha- 
bet even to his own child, he is liable to be fined or 
whipped, according to the discretion of the court. Such 
laws are necessary for the preservation of this detest- 
able system; and while such laws exist, how can the 
slaves ever be better fitted for freedom? When the Brit- 
ish government insisted that female slaves should no 
longer be flogged naked in the Colonies, the Jamaica 
legislature replied, that the practice could not possibly 
be laid aside, " until the negro women acquired more of 
the sense of shame, which distinguishes European fe- 
males." Fitting men for freedom by keeping them 
slaves, is like the Jamaica mode of making women mod- 
est by whipping them without clothing. 

Q. But don't you think it would be dangerous to turn 
the slaves at once loose upon the community? 

A. The abolitionists never desired to have them turn- 
ed loose. They wish to have them governed by salu- 
tary laws, so regulated as effectually to protect both 
master and slave. They merely wish to have the pow- 
er of punishment transferred from individuals to magis- 
trates; to have the sale of human beings cease; and to 
have the stimulus of wages applied, instead of the stim- 
ulus of the whip. The relation of master and laborer 
might still continue; but under circumstances less irk- 
some and degrading to both parties. Even that much 
abused animal the jackass can be made to travel more 
expeditiously by suspending a bunch of turnips on a pole 
and keeping them before his nose, than he can by the 
continual application of the whip; and even when hu- 
man beings are brutalized to the last degree, by the 
soul-destroying system of slavery, they have still sense 


enough left to be more willing to work two hours for 
twelve cents, than to work one hour for nothing. 

Q, I should think this system, in the long run, must 
be an unprofitable one. 

A. It is admitted to be so. Southerners often declare 
that it takes six slaves to do what is easily performed by 
half the number of free laborers. Henry Clay says, "It 
is believed that slave-labor would no where be employed 
in the farming portions of the United States, if the pro- 
prietors were not tempted to raise slaves by the high 
price of the Southern market, which keeps it up in their 
own;" and he says the effects of introducing slavery in- 
to Kentucky have been to keep them in the rear of 
their non-slave-holding neighbors, in agriculture, man- 
ufactures, and general prosperity. General Washing- 
ton, when writing to Sir John Sinclair on the compara- 
tive value of the soil in Pennsylvania and Virginia, as- 
cribes the very low price of land in Virginia to the ex- 
istence of slavery among them. John Randolph declar- 
ed that Virginia was so impoverished by slavery, that 
slaves would soon be advertising for runaway masters. 
A distinguished writer on political economy says: "The 
slave system inflicts an incalculable amount of human 
suffering, for the sake of making a wholesale waste of 
labor and capital." 

Q. But the masters say the negroes would cut their 
throats, if they were emancipated. 

A. It is safer to judge by uniform experience than by 
the assertions of the masters, who, even if they have no 
intention to deceive, are very liable to be blinded by 
having been educated in the midst of a bad system. Lis- 
ten to facts on this subject. On the 10th of October, 
1811, the Congress of Chili decreed that every child born 
after that day should be free. In April, 1812, the gov- 
ernment of Buenos Ayres ordered that every child born 
after the 1st of January, 1813, should be free. In 1821, 
the Congress of Colombia emancipated all slaves who 
had borne arms in favor of the Republic, and provided 
for the emancipation, in eighteen years, of the whole 
slave population, of 900,000. In September, 1829, the 
government of Mexico granted immediate and entire 
emancipation to every slave. In all these instances, not 
one case of insurrection or of bloodshed has ever been 
heard of as the result of emancipation. 


In St. Domingo no measures were taken gradually to 
lit the slaves for freedom. They were suddenly eman- 
cipated during a civil war, and armed against British in- 
vaders. They at once ceased to be property, and were 
recognized as human beings. Col. Malefant, who re- 
sided on the island, informs us, in his Historical and Po- 
litical History of the Colonies, that, il after this public 
act of emancipation, the negroes remained quiet both 
in the south and west, and they continued to work upon 
all the plantations. The colony was flourishing. The 
whites lived happily and in peace upon their estates, 
and the negroes continued to work for them. 55 General 
Lacroix, in his Memoirs of St. Domingo, speaking of the 
same period, says: Ci The colony marched as by en- 
chantment towards its ancient splendor; cultivation 
prospered; every day produced perceptible proofs of its 
progress. 55 This prosperous state of things lasted about 
eight years, and would perhaps have continued to the 
present day, had not Bonaparte, at the instigation of the 
old French planters, sent an army to deprive the blacks 
of the freedom they had used so well. The enemies of 
abolition are always talking of the horrors of St. Domin- 
go, as an argument to prove that emancipation is dan- 
gerous; but historical facts prove that the effort to re- 
store slavery occasioned all the bloodshed in that island; 
while emancipation produced only the most peaceful and 
prosperous results. 

In June, 1794, Victor Hugo, a French republican 
general, retook Guadaloupe from the British, and imme- 
diately proclaimed freedom to all the slaves. They 
were 35,000 in number, and the whites only 13,000. No 
disasters occurred in consequence of this step. More than 
seven years after this, the Supreme Council of Guada- 
loupe, in an official document, alluding to the tranquillity 
which reigned throughout the island, observed: " We 
shall have the satisfaction of having given an example, 
which will prove that all classes of people may live in per- 
fect harmony ivith each other .under an administration which 
secures justice to all classes." In 1802, Bonaparte sent 
a powerful French force, and again reduced the island 
to slavery, at the cost of about 20,000 negro lives. 

In July, 1828, thirty thousand Hottentots in Cape 
Colony were emancipated from their long and cruel 
bondage, and admitted by law to all the rights and priv- 


ileges of the white colonists. Outrages were predicted, 
as the inevitable consequence of freeing human crea- 
tures so completely brutalized as the poor Hottentots; 
but all went on peaceably; and, as a gentleman face- 
tiously remarked, " Hottentots as they were, they 
worked much better for Mr. Cash, than they had ever 
done for Mr. Lash." 

Q. But they say the British have had difficulties in 
their West Indies. 

Jl. The enemies of the cause have tried very hard to 
get up a " raw-head and bloody-bones" story; but even 
if you take their own accounts, you will find that they 
have not been able to adduce any instances of violence 
in support of their assertions. The real facts are these: 
The measure was not carried in a manner entirely sat- 
isfactory to the English abolitionists. Their knowledge 
of human nature, combined with the practical evidence 
afforded by history, led them to conclude that immediate 
and unqualified emancipation was safest for the master, 
as well as just to the slave; but the planters raised such 
a hue and cry concerning bloodshed and insurrection, 
that the British government determined to conciliate 
them by a gradual abolition of slavery. It was ordained 
that the slaves should work six years longer without 
wages, under the name of apprentices] but no punish- 
ment could be inflicted without the special order of mag- 
istrates. The colonies had a right to dispense with the 
apprenticeship system if they pleased; but out of the 
seventeen West India colonies, Antigua and Bermuda 
were the only ones that chose to do so. The act of 
Parliament provided that each apprentice should work 
for his master forty and a half hours a week, and have 
the rest of the time to himself. The masters were not 
satisfied with this; and they tried, by a series of petty 
vexations, to coerce the apprentices into individual con- 
tracts to work fifty hours in a week. While the people 
had been slaves, they were always allowed cooks to pre- 
pare their meals, a person to bring water to the gang 
during the hot hours, and nurses to tend the little chil- 
dren while their mothers were at work in the field; but 
because the Abolition Act did not expressly provide that 
these privileges should be continued, the masters saw 
fit to take them away. Each apprentice was obliged to 
quit his or her work, and go, sometimes a great dis- 


tance, to the cabin to cook his meals, instead of having 
it served up in the field; and the time taken up in this 
operation was to be made up out of the apprentices' own 
time. No water was allowed to be brought to quench 
their thirst; the aged and infirm, instead of being left, 
as formerly, to superintend the children under the shade, 
were ordered out into the burning fields; and mothers 
were obliged to toil at the hoe with their infants strap- 
ped at their backs. In addition to all these annoyances, 
the planters obtained a new proclamation from the gov- 
ernor, by which they were authorized to require extra 
labor of the apprentices in times of emergency, or ivhen- 
ever they should deem it necessary, in the cultivation, 
gathering, or manufacture of the crop, provided they 
repaid them an equal time at a convenient season of the 
year. This was very much like taking from a New Eng- 
land laborer the month of July, and paying it back to 
him in January. The negroes had behaved extremely 
well when emancipation was first proclaimed, and uni- 
versally showed a disposition to be orderly, submissive, 
and thankful; but this system of privation and injustice 
soon created discontent. They knew that they were to 
receive no wages, however industrious they might be; 
and they were well aware that their masters no longer 
had aright to flog them. A bad stimulus to labor had 
been removed, without supplying a good one in its place. 
In three of the colonies, the apprentices refused to 
work on the terms required by their masters. In Jamai- 
ca, a very small military force was sent into one parish, 
and only on one occasion; but no violence was offered 
on either side; for the apprentices confined themselves 
to passive resistance — merely refusing to work on the 
required terms. In St. Christophers, difficulties of a 
similar kind occurred; but no outrage of any kind was 
committed. In one fortnight all the trouble was at an 
end; and out of twenty thousand apprentices, only thirty 
were found to be absent from their work; and some of 
these were supposed to be dead in the woods. In Dem- 
arara, the principal difficulty occurred. The laborers 
assembled together, and marched round with a flag staff; 
but the ivorst thing they did was to beat a constable with 
their fists. It is a solemn fact that a few fisly cuffs with 
a constable are the only violence to persons or property, 
that has been attempted by the eight hundred thousand 
slaves emancipated in the British Colonies! 


Even the difficulties above enumerated (slight as they 
were, and unworthy to be named in connexion with such 
a great moral change) were but temporary. The gov- 
ernor of Jamaica, after five months' trial of emancipa- 
tion, declares, in his address to the Assembly, "Not 
the slightest idea of any interruption of tranquillity exists 
in any quarter; and those preparations which 1 have 
felt it my duty to make, might, without the slightest 
danger, have been dispensed with." By recent news, 
we learn that the planters finding the system of coer- 
cion was likely to be ruinous to their own interest, 
offered the apprentices 6 2s. 6d. per day for extra work. 
The enemies of abolition prophesied that nothing would 
induce the negroes to work more than they were actual- 
ly compelled to by law, and that the crops would perish 
for want of gathering. But the result proved otherwise. 
As soon as wages were offered, they came forward 
eagerly, and offered to do more work than the planters 
were willing to pay for. We have the testimony of one 
of their magistrates, that as soon as this system was 
tried, i( their apparent indifference was every where 
thrown off, and their work carried on in a steady, perse- 
vering, and diligent manner." 

Q. And how was it in Antigua and Bermuda, where 
they gave up the apprenticeship system, and tried imme- 
diate and unqualified emancipation? 

A. In those colonies not the slightest difficulty, of any 
kind, has occurred. The Antigua journals declare, 
"The great doubt is solved; the highest hopes of the 
negroes' friends are fulfilled. A whole people, com- 
prising thirty thousand souls, have passed from slavery 
into freedom, not only without the slightest irregularity, 
but with the solemn and decorous tranquillity of a Sab- 
bath." The Christmas holidays were always seasons 
of alarm in the slave-colonies, and a military force was 
always held in readiness; but the Christmas after eman- 
cipation, the customary guard was dispensed with. Up 
to the present time, every thing remains perfectly tran- 
quil in Antigua; and a negro is at the head of the police 
in that island. The population consists of 2,000 whites, 
§0,000 slaves, and 4,500 free blacks. 

Q. Yet people are always saying that free negroes 
cannot take care of themselves. 

A. It is because people are either very much preju- 


diced or very ignorant on the subject. In the United 
States, colored persons have scarcely any chance to 
rise. They are despised, and abused, and discouraged, 
at every turn. In the slave States they are subject to 
laws nearly as oppressive as those of the slave. They 
are whipped or imprisoned, if they try to learn to read 
or write; they are not allowed to testify in court; and 
there is a general disposition not to encourage them 
by giving them employment. In addition to this, 
the planters are very desirous to expel them from 
the State, partly because they are jealous of their influ- 
ence upon the slaves, and partly because those who 
have slaves to let out, naturally dislike the competition 
of the free negroes. But if colored people are well 
treated, and have the same inducements to industry as 
other people, they work as well and behave as well. 
A few years ago the Pennsylvanians were very much 
alarmed at the representations that were made of the 
increase of pauperism from the ingress of free negroes. 
A committee was appointed to examine into the subject, 
and it was ascertained that the colored people not only 
supported their own poor, but paid a considerable ad- 
ditional sum towards the support of white paupers. 

Q. I have heard people say that the slaves would not 
take their freedom, if it were offered to them. 

A: I sincerely wish they would offer it. I should like 
to see the experiment tried. If the slaves are so well 
satisfied with their condition, why do they make such 
severe laws against running away? Why are the pa- 
troles on duty all the time to 'shoot every negro who 
does not give an account of himself as soon as they call 
to him? Why, notwithstanding all these pains and pen- 
alties, are their newspapers full of advertisements for 
runaway slaves? If the free negroes are so much worse 
off than those in bondage, why is it that their laws be- 
stow freedom on any slave, "who saves his master or 
mistress's life, or performs any meritorious service to 
the State?" That must be a very bad country where 
the law stipulates that meritorious actions shall be re- 
warded by making a man more unhappy than he was 
before! Some months ago, I had a conversation with a 
woman, who went from Boston to Tuscaloosa, in Ala- 
bama. She was the wife of a Baptist clergyman, pro- 
fessed to be a pious woman, and was considered as such. 


I found her an apologist for slavery, but was not aware 
at the time that she actually owned slaves. She main- 
tained that freedom was the greatest curse that could be 
bestowed on a slave; and when I attempted to put the 
case home to her conscience, she, for consistency's sake, 
declared, that she should be quite as willing to die and 
leave her own little son in slavery, as to leave him a free 
laborer at the North. She said if she had a hundred 
slaves, she should treat thern all kindly, and endeavor to 
make their condition comfortable. I replied, " I am 
willing to believe that you Would do so, madam; but in 
case of your death, or of any pecuniary distress in the- 
family, the poor slaves would be divided among heirs, or 
seized by creditors; and then who can tell into whose 
hands they may fall? The condition of the slave depends 
on the character of the master; and that is entirely a 
matter of accident. The pious woman rejoined, " Oh, I 
should take care of that. If they were good, faithful 
servants, they would find at my death that papers of 
manumission had been duly prepared." "But you told 
me that freedom was the greatest curse that could be 
bestowed upon a slave," replied I: "Now is it possible, 
madam, that you would leave, as your dying legacy to 
good and faithful servants, the greatest curse you cGuld 

Q. Do you suppose they really believe what they say,. 
when they declare that slaves are happier than freemen? 

A. I leave your own republican good sense to deter- 
mine that question. Governor Giles of Virginia did not 
take that ground in his address to the Legislature in 
1827. Speaking of punishing free blacks by selling 
them as slaves, he says: " Slavery must be admitted to 
be a punishment of the highest order; and according to 
every just rule for the apportionment of punishment to 
crimes, it would seem that it ought to be applied only to 
crime of the highest order!" 

But even if it were true that the slaves were as happy 
and contented as slave-holders try to represent them — 
what would it prove? It would merely prove that they 
had fearfully brutalized immortal souls before they could 
be happy in such a situation. Edmund Burke said very 
truly, " If you have made 'dhappy slavey you have made 
a degraded man." 

Q. But how is it that some people, who really do not 


intend to make false representations, bring back such 
favorable accounts of slavery, after they have visited at 
the South? 

A. It is because they go among rich, hospitable 
planters, and see favorite household slaves. Of the poor 
wretches on the plantations, subject to the tender mer- 
cies of an overseer, they know as little, as the guests of 
a Russian nobleman know of the miserable condition of 
his serfs. Their sympathies all go with the master. 
They ask questions of the master, and not of the slave. 
Even if they tried to talk with the latter, the poor crea- 
tures would be afraid to speak freely, lest any expres- 
sions of discontent might be reported to the master, or 
the overseer. I should like to have you hear them talk 
as I have heard runaway slaves talk, when they knew 
they had a friend to listen to them! 

Q. But do jou think the suitable time has yet come 
to exert ourselves on this subject? 

A. I will answer, as a similar question was lately an- 
swered by a lady who had been brought up in the midst 
of slavery: " If thou were a slave, toiling in the fields 
of Carolina, I apprehend thou wouldst think the time 
had fully come." This explains the whole difficulty. 
We do not put ourselves in the condition of the slave, 
and imagine what would be our feelings if we were in 
his circumstances. We do not obey the Scripture in- 
junction, " remember those that are in bonds, as bound 
with them." 

But if we look at this question merely with a view to 
expediency, without reference to justice or mercy, when 
can we hope that a time will come more propitious to the 
discussion of this subject? The fact is, difficulties and 
dangers increase every day. In South Carolina and 
Louisiana, the blacks are already a majority. The an- 
nual increase of the slaves, without including the free 
blacks, in the United States, is now 62,000 annually. It 
is a fact worthy of consideration, that the licentiousness 
of the white man increases the colored race; but the 
vices of colored men or women can never increase the 
white race; for the children of such connections are of 
course not white. — These people are increasing in the 
midst of us in startling ratio. If we pursue a kind and 
Christian course, we can identify their interests with the 
rest of the community, and make them our friends; but 

27 • 

if we persevere in the course we have pursued, their 
feelings and interests must be all in opposition to ours, 
and there is great reason to fear the consequences. 

Q. Don't you think the Colonization Society is doing 
some good ? 

A. Those who have examined into the subject, have so 
universally come to the conclusion that Colonization is 
entirely ineffectual for the abolition of slavery at any 
time, however remote, that it seems hardly worth while 
to waste words on that subject. I do not pretend to im- 
peach the motives of benevolent individuals, who have 
been engaged in it; but there is no doubt that its prac- 
tical tendency is to perpetuate slavery. John Randolph, 
and other slave-holders, have advocated that Society, 
upon the avowed ground that by sending off an incon- 
venient surplus it would increase the price of the slaves 
left. In the new slave States, where they have not as 
yet an " inconvenient surplus" of slaves, they don't like 
the Colonization Society; but the old slave States have 
been its warmest friends. There is one brief objection 
to the idea of abolishing slavery by Colonization: it is 
impossible. Even if it were desirable to remove these 
valuable laborers from our soil, it could not be done, if 
the whole Treasury and Navy of the United States were 
devoted to it. The Colonization Society has been in 
operation about nineteen years; they have had immense 
funds; and they have transported to Africa, during that 
time, about three thousand colored persons, of which 
not one thousand were manumitted slaves. Now the an- 
nual increase of the slaves alone is 62,000; and the an- 
nual increase of the free blacks is about 10,000. In 
nineteen ijears the Colonizationists have not been able to 
carry off one sixtieth part of the increase of the slaves in 
one year! This is worse than the old story of the frog, 
who jumped out of the well two feet every night, and 
fell back three feet every morning. But even if the 
colored people could be all carried out of the country, 
what is the South to do for laborers? They have been 
in the habit of excusing themselves, by saying that white 
men cannot work in their climate, and by taking it for 
granted that black men will not work for wages. If the 
climate is unsuitable for white laborers, it is manifestly 
very impolitic to send off the black ones. It would be 
far wiser to try the experiment they have tried in Ber- 


muda and Antigua. Labor is needed in all parts of our 
country; and it is worse than a childish game to be 
sending off ship-loads of laborers to Africa, while we 
are bringing in ship-loads from Ireland, Holland, and 

Q. I have heard some people say they gave their 
money to the Colonization Society merely as a mission- 
ary establishment. 

'A. It would be well for those people to examine into 
the matter, and first ascertain whether it is a missionary 
establishment. When we send missions to India, the 
Sandwich Islands, &c, we send men believed to be pious 
and enlightened. For the probable influence of the emi- 
grants carried out by the Colonization Society, let the 
Society answer for itself. They assure us that the col- 
ored persons colonized from the United States will 
" carry religion and the arts into the heart of Africa. 51 
Yet Mr. Clay, Vice President of the Society, says, "Of 
all classes of our population the most vicious is that of 
the free colored — contaminated themselves, they extend 
their vices to all around them." And the African Re- 
pository, which is the organ of the Society, declares that 
"they are notoriously ignorant — a curse and a contagion 
wherever they reside. " Now, are not these admirable 
missionaries to send out to christianize Africa? It 
would be wise to put them under better and more en- 
couraging influences at home, before we attempt to send 
them to enlighten heathen lands. 

Q. Some say that these people are naturally inferior 
to us; and that the shape of their skulls proves it. 

A. If I believed that the colored people were naturally 
inferior to the whites, I should say that was an addition- 
al reason why we ought to protect, instruct, and en- 
courage them. No consistent republican will say that a 
strong-minded man has a right to oppress those less 
gifted than himself. Slave-holders do not seem to think 
the negroes are so stupid as not to acquire knowledge, 
and make use of it, if they could get a chance. If they 
do think so, why do their laws impose such heavy pen- 
alties oh all who attempt to give them any education? 
Nobody thinks it necessary to forbid the promulgation 
of knowledge among monkeys. If you believe the col- 
ored race are naturally inferior, I wish you would read 
the history of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Washington 


of St. Domingo. Though perfectly black, he was un- 
questionably one of the greatest and best men of his 
age. I wish you would hear Mr. Williams of New 
York, and Mr. Douglass of Philadelphia preach a few 
times, before you hastily decide concerning the capacity 
of the colored race for intellectual improvement. As 
for the shape of their skulls, I shall be well satisfied if 
our Southern brethren will emancipate all the slaves 
who have not what is called the " African conforma- 

Q. What do you think about property in slaves? 

A. Let me reply to that question by asking others. If 
you were taken by an Algerine pirate, and an Arab 
bought you, and paid honestly for you, should you ever 
consider yourself the property of the Arab ? Should you 
think your fellow-citizens ought so to consider you ? 
Can what is stolen in the beginning, be honest property 
in the transmission? If you and your children had 
toiled hard for years, and received only a peck of corn 
a week for your services, should you not think that some 
compensation was due to you? 

Q. These are hard questions; and I find it is hard to 
answer a good many things, when we once get into the 
habit of imagining how we should think and feel if we 
ourselves were the slaves. But what have the North to 
do on this subject? 

A. They cannot help having a great deal to do with 
it, either for good or for evil. They are citizens of this 
republic; and as such cannot but feel a painful interest 
in a subject which makes their beloved country an object 
of derision to the civilized world. If the slaves should 
make any attempt to gain their freedom, we are bound 
to go with an armed force and rivet their chains. If a 
slave escapes from his master unto us, we are bound to 
deliver him up to the lash. The people of Pennsylvania, 
living so near the slave States, have a great many of 
these painful scenes to encounter. A few months ago, 
an industrious and pious colored man in Philadelphia 
was torn from his home at midnight, and beaten in such 
a degree that the snow for some distance was stained 
with his blood. His poor wife, who was devotedly at- 
tached to him, had an infant about eight or ten days old; 
but regardless of her situation, she plunged into the 
snow, and implored mercy for her husband. Pier shrieks 


and entreaties were of no avail. The citizens of Phila- 
delphia could not help her, because the free States are 
bound by law to give up runaway slaves. The evil 
might be cured by the extreme cheapness of labor, if 
the surplus population were not drained off to supply 
new slave States. But in order to accommodate slave- 
holders in this respect, Louisiana has been bought, and 
Florida bought, by revenues principally raised in the 
free States; and now they want to purchase Texas like- 
wise for an eternal slave market. Every time a member 
from the free States votes for the . admission of a slave 
state into the Union, he helps to increase the political 
power, which has always been wielded for the perpetua- 
tion of this abominable system. It is high time for the 
free States to begin , to reflect seriously, whether they 
ought any longer to give their money and their moral 
influence in support of this iniquity. 

Q. I did not know we were obliged to give up runa- 
way slaves to their masters. Are you sure it is so? 

A. When masters bring their slaves into the free 
States, or send them, the slaves can legally take their 
freedom; but when the slaves run away, we are obliged 
by law to give them up, let the circumstances be what 
they may. Many conscientious people prefer to obey 
the law of God, which says, "Thou shalt not deliver 
unto his master the servant which hath escaped unto 

Q. But would you at once give so many ignorant 
creatures political power, by making thern voters? 

A. That would be for the wisdom of legislators to de- 
cide; and they would probably decide that it would not 
be judicious to invest emancipated slaves with the elec- 
tive franchise; for though it is not their fault that they 
have been kept brutally ignorant, it unfits them for 
voters. At the present time, slaves are represented in 
Congress. Every five slaves are counted equal to three 
freemen; which is just the same as if our farmers were 
allowed to count every five of their oxen as three voters. 
This system gives the Southern aristocracy great politi- 
cal power, entirely unchecked by democratic influence, 
which comes in- as a counterpoise in States where the 
laboring class are allowed to vote. W. B. Seabrook, of 
South Carolina, has lately published an Essay on the 
management of slaves, in which he says: '* An addition 


of $1,000,000 to the private fortune of Daniel Webster would 
not give to Massachusetts more weight than she now possesses 
in the Federal Councils. On the other hand, every increase 
of slave property in South Carolina, is a fraction thrown into 
the scale by which her representation in Congress is determined" 
This country has been governed by a President forty-eight 
years. During forty of those years we have been governed by 
a slave-holder! The New England candidates each remained 
in office but four years; and the great middle section has nev- 
er given a President. The Middle States are politically 
stronger than the Northern, and are therefore more likely to 
act independently, and without reference to Southern support. 
Perhaps this may be the reason why those States, large and 
wealthy as they are, have never given a President to their 
country. Slave-holders are keen-sighted politicians ; and they 
are closely knit together by one common bond of sympathy 
on the subject of slavery. It is a common remark with them 
that they never will vote for any man north of the Potomac. 

Q. You know that abolitionists are universally accused of 
wishing to promote the amalgamation of colored and white 

A. This is a false charge, got up by the enemies of the cause, 
and used as a bugbear to increase the prejudices of the com- 
munity. By the hue and cry that is raised on the subject, one 
would really suppose that in this free country a certain set of 
men had power to compel their neighbors to marry contrary 
to their own inclination. The abolitionists have never, by ex- 
ample, writing, or conversation, endeavored to connect amal- 
gamation with the subject of abolition. When their enemies 
insist upon urging this silly and unfounded objection, they 
content themselves with replying, li J£ there be a natural an- 
tipathy between the races, the antipathy will protect itself. If 
such marriages are contrary to the order of Providence, we 
certainly may trust Providence to take care of the matter. It 
is a poor compliment to the white young men to be so afraid 
that the moment we allow the colored ones to be educated, 
the girls will all be running after them." 

At a town meeting in New Hampshire, one of the citizens 
rose to say that he did not approve of admitting colored lads 
into the school. "If you suffer these people to be educated," 
said he, " the first thing we shall know they will be marrying 
our daughters !" After some other remarks, he concluded by 
saying, "it is impossible for the colored and white race to live 
together in a kind social relation — there is a natural antipa- 
thy — they cannot be made to mix any better than oil and wa- 
ter." A plain farmer replied, "I thought you said just now, 
that you was afraid that they'd marry our darters ; if they wont 
mix any better than He and water, what are you afraid of?" 
Any one who observes the infinite variety of shadings in the 
complexions of the colored people, will perceive that amalga- 
mation has for a long time been carried on. The only justifi- 


cation that the apologist for slavery can give is, that it is not 
sanctioned by marriage. According to Southern laws every 
child must follow the condition of its mother ; that is, if the 
mother is a slave, her offspring must be so likewise. If they 
would change one word, and say the child shall follow the 
condition of its father, a large proportion of their slaves would 
be free at once ; and the others would soon become so, provi- 
ded no new cargoes were in the mean time smuggled in from 
Africa. In this subject, the truth is briefly told in a juvenile 
couplet, viz. 

" By universal emancipation, 
We want to stop amalgamation." 

Q. Is there any truth in the charge that you wish to break 
down all distinctions of society, and introduce the negroes into 
our parlors ? 

A. There is not the slightest truth in this charge. People 
have pointed to an ignorant shoe-black, and asked me whether 
I would invite him to visit my house. I answered, "No; I 
would not do so if he were a white man ; and I should not be 
likely to do it, merely because he was black." An educated 
person will not naturally like to associate with one who is 
grossly ignorant. It may be no merit in one that he is well- 
informed, and no fault of the other that he is ignorant ; for 
these things may be the result of circumstances, over which 
the individual had no control ; but such people will not choose 
each other's society merely from want of sympathy. For 
these reasons, I would not select an ignorant man, of any 
complexion, for my companion ; but when you ask me whether 
that man's children shall have as fair a chance as my own, to 
obtain an education, and rise in the world, I should be ashamed 
of myself, both as a Christian and a republican, if I did not 
say, yes, with all my heart. 

Q. But do you believe that prejudice against color ever can 
be overcome ? 

A. Yes, I do ; because I have faith that all things will pass 
away, which are not founded in reason and justice. In France 
and England, this prejudice scarcely exists at all. Their no- 
blemen would never dream of taking offence because a colored 
gentleman sat beside them in a stage-coach, or at the table of 
an hotel. Be assured, however, that the abolitionists have not 
the slightest wish to force you to give up this prejudice. If, 
after conscientious examination, you believe it to be right, 
cherish it; but do not adhere to it merely because your neigh- 
bors do. Look it in the face — apply the golden rule — and 
judge for yourself. The Mahometans really think they could 
not eat at the same table with a Christian, without pollution ; 
but I have no doubt the time will come when this prejudice 
will be removed. The old feudal nobles of England would 
not have thought it possible that their descendants could live 
in a community, where they and their vassals were on a per- 
fect civil equality; yet the apparent impossibility has come to 


pass, with advantage to many, and injury to none. When we 
endeavor to conform to the spirit of the gospel, there is never 
any danger that it will not lead us into the paths of peace. 

Q. But they say your measures are unconstitutional. 

A. Is it unconstitutional to talk, and write, and publish on 
any subject? particularly one in which the welfare and char- 
acter of the country are so deeply involved? This is all the 
abolitionists have ever done; it is all they have ever desired 
to do. Nobody disputes that Congress has constitutional 
power to abolish slavery and the slave-trade in the District of 
Columbia. That District belongs in common to all the States, 
and each of them has an interest in the slaves there. The 
public prisons of that District, built with the money of the whole 
people of the United States, are used for the benefit of slave- 
traders, and the groaning victims of this detestable traffic are 
kept confined within their walls. The keepers of these pris- 
ons, paid iviih the money of the ivhole people, act as jailers to these 
slave-traders, until their gang of human brutes can be com- 
pleted. When we are acting as accomplices in all this, have 
we no right to petition for the abolition of slavery and the 
slave trade there 1 ? I do not see how any conscientious man 
can help believing it to be a solemn duty. 

Q. Is there any truth in the charge, that abolitionists have 
tried to excite insurrections among the slaves? 

A. This charge is destitute of the slightest foundation in 
truth. The abolitionists have addressed facts and arguments 
to the slave-holders only. They have never sought for any 
communication with the slaves; and if they did so, their prin- 
ciples would lead them to teach patience and submission, un- 
til their deliverance could be accomplished by peaceful 
measures. 1 believe the publications by the Peace Society do 
not contain so much in defence of non-resistance under injury, 
as the publications of the abolitionists* If it should be dis- 
covered that any member of an Anti-Slavery Society had tried 
to excite disaffection among the slaves, he would be immedi- 
ately turned out of the Society, with strong expressions of 
disapprobation. This false charge has been got up at the 
South merely to excite sympathy. A little while ago a para- 
graph went the rounds of the newspapers, concerning an abo- 
litionist who had been overheard trying to persuade a negro 
lad to run away, and offering to forge free papers for him. It 
was afterwards ascertained that the man was a kidnapper, and 
took this means of getting the boy into his own power, for the 
sake of selling him. Complaints are made that pictures of a 
man flogging slaves having been on some of the books sent to 
the South ; and it is urged that negroes can understand these 
pictures, if they do not know their letters, in the first place, 
the books are sent to the masters. In the next place (as has 
been well observed), the pictures represent a thing that is 
either true, or not true. If it is not true, the negroes would 


look at the picture without being reminded of any thing they 
had ever seen or known — if told that it represented a driver 
beating slaves, they would laugh at such Munchausen stories 
of things that never happened. On the other hand, if the rep- 
resentation is true, would the mere picture of a thing be more 
likely to excite them to insurrection than the thing itself? 
These stories of efforts to excite violence are mere spectres 
raised on purpose for the occasion. If you will take notice of 
the charges brought against abolitionists, you will find that 
they are always mere assertions, unsupported by quotations, 
or any species of evidence. When I have read the resolutions 
passed at public meetings against the abolitionists, I have 
smiled at the farce which those men have been acting. In 
nearly all their resolutions, the abolitionists could most cordi- 
ally and conscientiously concur. The enemies of the cause 
have in several cities gravely met together to declare that they 
do not approve of attempts to promote insurrections. The 
abolitionists agree with them entirely. With the same ridicu- 
lous gravity, they make known to the world that they do not 
approve of any legislative interference with the Southern 
States. The abolitionists have never dreamed of any such in- 
terference. They merely wish to induce the Southerners to 
legislate for themselves ; and they hope to do this by the univer- 
sal dissemination of facts and arguments, calculated to promote 
a correct public sentiment on the subject of slavery. This is all 
they ever intended to do; and this they will do, though earth 
and hell combine against their efforts. The men engaged in 
this cause are not working for themselves, but for God — and 
therefore they are strong. 

Q. But do you believe the Southerners ever can be per- 
suaded ? 

A. At all events, it is our duty to try. " Thus saith the Lord 
God, Thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they 
will hear, or whether they will, forbear ; neither be afraid of 
their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and 
thou dost dwell among scorpions." If public sentiment be- 
comes universally reformed on this subject, it cannot fail to 
have a powerful influence. Slavery was abolished in the Brit- 
ish dominions entirely by moral influence. Parliament never 
would have voted for the bill, the king never would have 
signed it, if an enlightened public sentiment had not made the 
step absolutely necessary; and the public became enlightened 
by the exertions of benevolent men, who were obliged to en- 
dure every form of obloquy and rage, before the good work 
was completed. The slave-holders are perfectly aware that 
the same causes will produce similar effects in this country. 
One of the Southern editors has lately declared that what is 
most to be feared is, that these fanatical abolitionists will make 
some people of morbid consciences believe that slavery really 
is wrong, and that it is their duty to relinquish it. Another 


Southern newspaper complains that the worst effect of this 
discussion is, that it is causing good men to regard slave-hold- 
ers with abhorrence. 

Q. But if the system works so badly in every respect, why 
are people so unwilling to give it up? 

A. Human nature is willing to endure much, rather than re- 
linquish unbridled licentiousness and despotic control. The 
emperor of Russia, and the pachas of Egypt would be reluc- 
tant to abridge their own power, for the sake of introducing a 
system of things more conducive to the freedom, virtue and 
happiness of their subjects. They had rather live in constant 
fear of the poisoned bowl and the midnight dagger, than to 
give up the pleasant exercise of tyranny, to which they have 
so long been accustomed. In addition to this feeling, so com- 
mon to our nature, there are many conscientious people, who 
are terrified at the idea of emancipation. It has always been 
presented to them in the most frightful colors; and bad men 
are determined, if possible, to prevent the abolitionists from 
proving to such minds that the dangers of insurrection all belong 
to slavery, and tvould cease when slavery ivas abolished. 

At the North, the apologists of slavery are numerous and 
virulent, because their interests are closely intertwined with 
the pernicious system. Inquire into the private history of 
many of the men, who have called meetings against the abo- 
litionists — you will find that some manufacture negro cloths 
for the South — some have sons who sell those cloths— some 
have daughters married to slave-holders — some have planta- 
tions and slaves mortgaged to them — some have ships em- 
ployed in Southern commerce — and some candidates for po- 
litical offices would bow until their back-bones were broken, 
to obtain or preserve Southern influence. The Southerners 
understand all this perfectly well, and despise our servility, 
even while they condescend to make uSe of it. 

One great reason why the people of this country have not 
thought and felt right on this subject, is that all our books, 
newspapers, almanacs and periodicals, have combined to rep- 
resent the colored race as an inferior and degraded class, who 
never could be made good and useful citizens. Ridicule and 
reproach have been abundantly heaped upon them ; but their 
virtues and their sufferings have found few historians. The 
South has been well satisfied with such a public sentiment. 
It sends back no echo to disturb their consciences, and it ef- 
fectually rivets the chain on the necks of their vassals. In this 
department of service, the Colonization Society has been a 
most active and zealous agent. 

Q. But some people say that all the mobs, and other violent 
proceedings, are to be attributed to the abolitionists. 

A. They might as well charge the same upon St. Paul, when 
his fearless preaching of the gospel brought him into such 
imminent peril, that his friends were obliged to "let him 


down over the wall in a basket," to save his life. As well 
might St. Stephen have been blamed for the mob that stoned 
him to death. With the same justice might William Fenn 
have been called the cause of all the violent persecutions 
against the Quakers. When principles of truth are sent out 
in the midst of a perverse generation, they always come "not 
not to bring peace, but a sword." The abolitionists have of- 
fered violence to no man — they have never attempted to stop 
the discussions of their opponents ; but have, on the contrary, 
exerted themselves to obtain a candid examination of the sub- 
ject on all sides. They merely claim the privilege of deliver- 
ing peaceful addresses at orderly meetings, and of publishing 
what they believe to be facts, with an honest desire to have 
them tested by the strictest ordeal of truth. 

Q. But do you think a foreigner ought to be allowed to lec- 
ture on this subject? 

A. We have some hundred missionaries abroad lecturing 
other nations — preaching against systems most closely en- 
twined with the government and prejudices of the people. If 
good and conscientious men leave ease, honor, and popularity 
behind them, to come here, and labor among the poor 
and the despised, merely from zeal in a good cause, shall we 
refuse to hear what they have to say? If we insult, mob, and 
stone them, how could we consistently blame the Hindoos and 
Sandwich Islanders for abusing our missionaries? We sent 
out agents to England, to give her the benefit of our experience 
on the subject of temperance; ought we not to be willing to 
receive the benefit of her experience on the subject of slavery ? 
Let us candidly hear what these men have to say. If it be 
contrary to reason and truth, reject it; if it be the truth, let us 
ponder it in our hearts, 

Q. But everybody says the discussion of slavery will lead to 
the dissolution of the Union. 

A. There must be something wrong in the Union, if the 
candid discussion of any subject can dissolve it; and for the 
truth of this remark, I appeal to your own good sense. If the 
South should be injudicious enough to withdraw from the 
Union for the sake of preserving a moral pestilence in her 
borders, it is very certain that slavery cannot long continue after 
that event. None of the frontier States could long keep their 
slaves, if we were not obliged by law to deliver up runaways ; 
nor could they any longer rely upon the free States, in cases 
of emergency, to support slavery by force of arms. The union 
of these States has been continually disturbed and embittered 
by the existence of slavery; and the abolitionists would fain 
convince the whole country that it is "best to cast away this 
apple of discord. Their attachment to the Union is so strong, 
that they would make any sacrifice of self-interest to preserve 
it; but they never will consent to sacrifice honor and princi- 
ple. "Duties are ours; events are God's!" 





Those who know very little about Slavery, and wish to examine for them- 
selves, will do well to read 

SLAVERY; by Rev. Amos A. Phelpsj The appendix to this latter 
work shows plainly that insurrections and murders have always been more or 
less frequent in slave States, years and years before Anti-Slavery Societies 
were heard of. 

Those who wish to know something of slave laws, will do well to read 


Those who are convinced that Slavery is wicked and pernicious, but have 
cherished the idea that Colonization may be a remedy, will do well to read 





ER, on American Slavery. 

THE NEGRO'S FRIEND; a series of English Tracts, with Engravings. 

THE SLAVE'S FRIEND; a series of neat and interesting books for 
Children, with Engravings. Price one cent. 

LECTURES ON SLAVERY. By Rev. Benjamin Godwin, D. D., 
author of Lectures on Atheism. Enlarged edition. 



and a Slave. 


iC~P Anti-Slavery Libraries replenished or supplied on the most favorable